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NAMAQUA SANDGROUSE (Pterocles Namaqua)
The four Sandgrouse species in South Africa are normally initially recognised by their pigeon-like appearance. Of the four species, Namaqua Sandgrouse are the most common and well-known for their characteristic call, which sounds remarkably like the word “kelkiewyn” , the Afrikaans name for them, meaning “glass of wine”. The wedge-shaped tail, with long pointed central feathers is diagnostic for both sexes. Males have a characteristic white and brownish-maroon double breastband and a yellow throat. The entire body of the female is barred brown-buff, the breast is streaked and the throat is yellowish.
Mostly restricted to the drier western regions of South Africa. Namaqua Sandgrouse can be found in the North West Province, Free State, Eastern Cape, most of the Western Cape and throughout the Northern Cape Province. They prefer habitat with a rocky or gravelly substrate, populated by sparse, low-growing shrubs or grasses in areas with less than 300 mm of rainfall per year. Although they can fly more than 50 km between roosting areas, feeding grounds and water sources, the presence of open waterholes (not cattle troughs) is essential for their presence in an area.